Billionaire Donald Trump won’t be getting a key to the city of Doral.
The move comes after the mayor requested that the City Council consider giving a key to Trump, along with Miss Universe president Paula M. Shugart. However, two hours later, and after calls from residents and the media, the mayor changed his mind, amending his request, excluding Trump.
He also wants the Council to consider making Jan. 25 Miss Universe Day.
In an email sent Monday afternoon to the city clerk, Mayor Luigi Boria’s administrative aide, Rafael Pineyro, asked that the award be given at the Miss Universe pageant on Jan. 25 at the Florida International University arena.
“The mayor would like to request a Key to the City only for Mrs. Paula M. Shugart. Please cancel the request for the other key,” the email said.
Later on Tuesday, Boria explained his new train of thought.
“Trump doesn’t deserve my key,” he said. “I think it’s appropriate for Miss Universe and the Miss Universe organization to have the key. It doesn’t make sense for Trump to have one.”
Last year, the City Council had discussed that the award should be reserved for “dignitaries and people of very high commitment and importance.” That decision was made after the city went on a key-giving spree. That’s when residents dubbed Boria “the city’s locksmith.”
“Keys to the City should be reserved to be given to dignitaries and people of high importance, not to businessmen that benefit from our City,” longtime Doral resident Claudia Spangaro Mariaca said. “Giving the Trump organization or the Miss Universe organization a Key at this time when there is so much controversy in our City would be a mistake, and a disloyal move from our Council.”
Tensions have already been rising between Council members and residents because of Trump and the Miss Universe pageant. In September the Council decided to invest $2.5 million, in order to be the host city to the pageant. Many residents were very upset went the deal was cut with Trump, who had taken away their scenic views by planting barriers of areca palms on his golf course.
“When are we going to stop focusing on the glitz and glamor and refocus on what matters; Fixing traffic, improving our schools, roads, and parks for our residents?” Councilwoman Christi Fraga said Monday. “Enough is enough.”
Fraga has yet to participate in any Miss Universe auxiliary events in Doral. She is the only council member who voted no on the million-dollar commitment.
Before the mayor changed his mind, Councilman Pete Cabrera said he thinks “there should be no issue” with giving Trump and Shugart a key, calling the festivity “an impressive event to have here. It’s a big deal.”
“I’ll be supportive of it. Trump is someone who has invested $300 million in our community,” Cabrera said, referring to Trump’s golf course and spa, the Trump National Doral. “I also had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Shugart and she is an amazing person who had brought an amazing event to our city.”
The 88 Miss Universe contestants will be dining at Divieto Monday night, an Italian-American Fusion restaurant in Doral, Cabrera said the eatery will be hosting them. Several other Doral restaurants have been hosting the contestants since last week.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Sandra Ruiz will propose an economic impact study be done after the event.
“They should have done more due diligence before the event, not come to the conclusion that we needed an impact study two weeks before the event,” Mariaca told the Miami Herald.
The City Council will meet Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at Doral City Hall.